Coming off a 12-4 season and the franchise’s first playoff appearance in more than a decade, the Raiders have high hopes for 2017. Derek Carr is ready to win multiple Super Bowls, and the Raiders might have the offensive firepower to get it done.
Using Bovada’s online odds, the Raiders are expected to have huge seasons from its offensive stars. Carr is slated with the third best odds to win the MVP at 7/1 behind Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
The fourth-year quarterback is coming off his best season yet where he completed 63.8 percent of his passes, while throwing for 28 touchdowns and a staggeringly low four interceptions. Carr’s interception percentage of 1.1 percent rated fourth in the NFL, though the other four quarterbacks in top five had better completion percentages and higher yards per attempt.
The lack of interceptions and the offensive line’s ability to keep Carr protected were the two biggest strengths of the Raiders in 2016. The Raiders allowed a league-low 18 sacks last season.
But Carr has play makers around him. His top target, Amari Cooper, is slated as one of the best receivers in the NFL. At 18/1 Cooper has the seventh best odds to lead the NFL in receiving yards. The 23 year old has posted back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons to start his career, but he has struggled in the redzone.
Amari Cooper had only 2 TD on 7 red zone targets in rookie year, so #Raiders looked to get him more involved in Year 2.
He went 0-for-13.
— Chris Raybon (@ChrisRaybon) August 1, 2017
Despite coming out of a year-long retirement, Bovada still gives Marshawn Lynch the 11th-best odds to the lead the NFL in rushing yards at 25/1.
Lynch only suited up in seven game in 2015 due to injury, meaning you have to go back to 2014 to find his last full season. But if Lynch is close to that production level, the Raiders might have a top 10 running back.
In 2014 Lynch posted a 4.7 yards per carry mark and rushed for a career high 13 touchdowns. But now at 31 years old, Lynch will likely need to be supported by backup running backs DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard.
That gives the Raiders a top-12 player at quarterback, wide receiver and running back. Combine that with an offensive line that was rated in the top five last season, and the Raiders offense should be carrying the team to victories.
On the defensive side of the ball, where rookies will have to make a serious impact, the Raiders have their brightest star in Khalil Mack. He was the defensive player of the year in the NFL, and he has great odds to win it again. Mack and Von Miller are 5/1 to win the award behind J.J. Watt who is 7/2.
Mack has registered 26 sacks over the last two seasons, but Carr - for the second straight season - thinks he can break the single-season sack record of 22.5 and get 30.
Despite all the individual expectations, the Raiders win total is pegged at just 10, which would be a step back from last season. But only New England (12.5), Pittsburgh (10.5) and Seattle (10.5) have higher over-under totals than the Raiders.
Tyler Bischoff hosts Coaches Corner on AM 720 KDWN Monday through Friday at 6:00 pm.